The Betting and Gaming Council has published its CSR report for 2021, which highlighted the gambling sector’s financial contribution in the UK, which recorded £7.7bn in gross value added.
The report, which underlined the contribution that the regulated betting and gaming industry makes to communities, the economy and sport, also noted that the gambling industry added £2.2bn in treasury taxes and £4.5bn across its supply chain.
Moreover, the sector generated 119,000 jobs – 61,000 direct, 22,000 in Scotland and Northern England, and 15,000 in London – of which 19 per cent under the age of 25 and 51 per cent under 35.
In addition to the abovementioned, a number of companies were highlighted in the report, including bet365 Group, Flutter Entertainment, William Hill, Gamesys and Entain, whilst BGC members in general were praised for their collective support for the Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme, delivered in cooperation with YGAM and GamCare.
Of the mentioned companies, the Entain Foundation was highlighted for its activities since its 2019 launch and its major CST achievements with 2021 seeing the foundation commit to donating £500m over the next five years to causes such as responsible gambling, education and treatment, men’s mental health, and community projects.
Martin Lycka, Entain’s SVP for American regulatory affairs and responsible gambling and Entain Foundation trustee, stated: “We are delighted to have partnered with sports clubs, gambling researchers and athletes in a number of our key jurisdictions, including Germany, the UK, Italy and the US.
“The range of the new initiatives that we are announcing, and the quality of the partnerships that we have entered, is a great endorsement of our overall CSR strategy, and there is plenty more to come.”
Other highlights were the Gamesys Foundation’s £100,000 commitment to mental health and the William Hill Foundation’s partnership with the Scottish Football Association concerning mental wellbeing, along with Playtech becoming the inaugural holder of GamCare’s safer gambling standard.
Additional societal initiatives have focused on safer gambling – particularly with regards to funding to research, education and treatment – with industry contributions to GambleAware reaching £10.6m. bet365, Entain and William Hill made the biggest contributions, whilst Flutter donated £8m in March 2021.
Initiatives from Entain and William Hill were highlighted, but a notable policy implemented was Kindred Group’s decision to report its revenue share from high-risk players, outlining a goal of generating zero per cent revenue from harmful gambling by 2023.
Maris Catania, head of responsible gaming and research, Kindred Group, explained: “Sharing these numbers may not be popular with some audiences, but it will also create a potential chance to have more fact-based discussions and data sharing in the gambling industry. That is truly important.”
Moving onto diversity, Entain, Flutter, William Hill, Playtech and 888 were all noted for their movements in this space. Entain was highlighted for its EnTrain initiative and £250,000 support to young women in the industry via its foundation, whilst 888 established its Environment, Social and Governance committee.
John Mendelsohn, chairman of 888 and the 888 ESG committee, noted: “As a board, we are committed to ensuring that issues such as safer gambling, the climate change agenda, diversity and inclusion, and community engagement are consistently incorporated into the group’s strategy and decision making.
“The creation of this committee demonstrates 888’s firm commitment to continuous ESG improvements and ensuring sustainable and ethical best practice across the group’s activities.”
Commenting on the report, Michael Dugher, BGC chief executive, concluded: “This report highlights the huge contribution the regulated industry is making to the communities in which it operates.
“Across the board, we see examples where members and their employees are making a real difference to the lives of others, through their support for the post-pandemic recovery, their backing for local communities, charities and grassroots sports clubs hit hard by the pandemic, their commitment to inclusion and diversity and their determination to tackle climate change.”